FOCUS ON FINANCE
THE EURO ZONE
July 28th to August 3rd 2017 ed., P.26
will serve as an emblem of a political class many Spaniards see as irretrievably corrupt.
Rajoy was aware of how disastrous his court appearance would be for the PP’s
reputation. He asked the judges if he could appear via video link instead, arguing
that his journey to the courtroom 18km out of Madrid would be a misuse of public
funds (one hopes the wonderful irony of that argument was not lost on the judges).
But he was summoned anyway and by mid-
his week, BBVA and Bankia SA announced that Spain’s economic expansion in 2017
is likely to be 3.3% -
Various bodies – including the IMF, Spain’s Central Bank and the Spanish
government itself – have been upwardly revising their economic predictions steadily
throughout this year, but BBVA’s and Bankia’s contributions to this absurd numbers
game will be tough to beat. Even so, Mariano Rajoy will probably up the official
government forecast to match the banks’ sunny outlook sometime in the coming weeks.
Currently, the Spanish government’s official prediction is for GDP expansion of 3%
this year -
Speaking of Rajoy, you may have wondered why he wasn’t asked to comment on BBVA’s revised growth forecast when it was announced on Wednesday morning. The fastest expansion since the crisis is surely a big deal for a government that presents itself as the only competent steward of the Spanish economy. Indeed, Rajoy rarely misses a chance to tell Spaniards that it is his party, the conservative Popular Party (PP), that has dragged Spain out of recession and put it back on economic track. But on Wednesday morning, he was unable to celebrate a potentially bumper year of economic expansion. Instead, the Spanish prime minister was appearing as a witness in a corruption case that implicates many members of his own party
M a r k N a y l e r